Reflections of The Hierophant: The Dark Knight Rises ! VERY MINOR SPOILERS !
Can "The Dark Knight Rises" live up to the expectations set by the seemingly impossible-to-beat "The Dark Knight"? Find out after the jump...
In “The Dark Knight Rises,” Gotham has been at peace for 8 years. With Batman becoming Public Enem No. 1 and Harvey Dent’s legacy ensuring that no organized crime is left, Gotham no longer needs the Batman to protect its citizens. Unable to move on and find peace after the unfortunate death of Rachel Dawes and the events of “The Dark Knight,” the damaged Bruce Wayne has become a hermit. Bruce isn’t the only one left with mental torment from Joker. The “war hero,” Commissioner James Gordon’s conscience has been eating away at him for these 8 years due to the secret that he has been forced to keep. When peace is explosively interrupted in Gotham City, will Bruce and Jim be able to move past their personal demons to stop the menace known as Bane?
Like most people, I’ve been eagerly awaiting this film for 4 years, immediately after “The Dark Knight.” Of course, I had my fears and doubts about this move, regardless of Christopher Nolan’s impeccable track-record. But, like millions, I attended the midnight release of Christopher Nolan’s (supposed) finale in “The Dark Knight Trilogy” here in Greenwood, IN. But, while I did love the film, I can’t help but feel a bit let down by it. I’m sure that it’s partially my fault. I sincerely expected a movie that would rival, if not surpass “The Dark Knight.”
What I really dig about “The Dark Knight” is that it really can stand on its own. It felt like it was its own movie, as though you didn’t have to watch “Batman Begins” (for my money, the best of the trilogy) to watch, understand, and appreciate it. With “The Dark Knight Rises,” there really was no way you could fully understand it without seeing the previous films, particularly “Batman Begins.” I’ve heard some say that the parts of the film that were throw-backs to “Batman Begins” felt “clunky.” I fully disagree with that assessment. Rather, I feel the references to “Batman Begins” felt very natural.
A lot of people felt that Anne Hathaway stole the show. I can’t help but to disagree. Make no mistake, I felt that she did a great job and brought justice to a character that’s never been given proper respect on film, but I just won’t say that she “stole the show” (what I will say, though, is that there was something very sexy in her voice. I’ve always thought she was an attractive woman, but the way she spoke was incredible). The same can be said for Tom Hardy. A lot of people thought he would/did steal the show in the same vein of Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight.” He did an incredible job as Bane. His voice was chilling, although still hard to understand at times (which took away from some of his lines). But it was the way he used his eyes to tell the story was downright scary.
If I had to pick someone’s performance that stood out in this movie, I would have to go with Michael Caine. I’ve always enjoyed his portrayal of the Wayne family butler (despite his Cockney accent), but something about his performance in “The Dark Knight Rises” made me feel that this man truly cares for, and loves, Bruce. His whole performance took me back to the part of “Batman Begins,” after the funeral services for Thomas and Martha Wayne. That part always brings a tear to my eye. There were a few times when my eyes became misty during “The Dark Knight Rises”due to something that Alfred said or did.
It’s unfortunate that, in a movie where he is the lead actor, Christian Bale never seems to steal the show the way we all know he can. But, “The Dark Knight Rises” gave us the best interpretation of Bruce Wayne AND Batman yet. One thing that always bothered me about Christian Bale’s Batman was that he never broke character. I know that he’s not really intended to, but even when he’s faced with someone that clearly knows his true identity, he maintains that infamous “Batman voice.” I was very happy to see hear Bruce’s voice shine through towards the end of the film after he is betrayed. It really made it seem all the more devastating.
If I disliked any performance in “The Dark Knight Rises,” it would have to be Matthew Modine. Well, I’ll just say that I disliked the character. At the start of the picture, it felt that Deputy Commissioner Peter Foley, was intended to be the rival of Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon. But, about half-way through the film, it seemed as though they abandoned that. Honestly, I almost forgot the character was even there. But, with so many characters (new and old), even Christopher Nolan was bound to mess up one.
I’ve heard a lot of complaints about plot holes in these movies, usually pertaining to time. These people complaining, “How was it daylight out, but nighttime out in the very next scene,” seem to not understand that scenes in a particular sequence don’t necessarily take place right after each other. We, the audience, are intended to understand that more time has passed than what is shown. One thing that really bothered me (and I’m not sure why it bugged me so much) was set after Bane’s Gotham City takeover, when Bruce and Lucius are repairing The Bat. How did nobody find it? This may seem like nitpicking (probably because it is), but seriously?!?! Nobody investigated the rooftops? I understand that Gotham is a large city, but Bane is made out to be a meticulously intelligent monster.
Overall, this was a great movie. The story is something we’ve seen before in the Nolanverse, but not on this scale, which is what made it fun. “Fun” might seem like an odd term to use for a story about a terrorist attempting to burn a city to the ground, but I had loads of fun watching it unfold. Almost every performance was strong in the movie, but nothing Oscar-worthy à la Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight.” I have one, very large problem with this movie. “The Dark Knight Rises” was touted as “the epic conclusion to the Dark Knight Legend,” but lacked any real finality. We see the end of Bruce Wayne’s journey, but the movie leaves a rather large opening for future films in the series. Of course, Nolan is always very careful in what he says. Perhaps this wasn’t meant to be taken as Nolan’s last Batman film, but the literal conclusion of “one man’s journey.” But, for me, this was a great end to a great film, but not for a trilogy.
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P.S. By Aaron Starkiller:
This movie... NAY!
This cinematic experience... NAY!
These 3 hours changed my life!
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